If you are the victim of domestic violence in Bellevue, Washington (or if you know someone who is the victim of domestic violence and would like to help), it’s important that you take action to start protecting yourself as soon as possible. In addition to physically removing yourself and any children from the situation, you can get a court protection order. To learn how to get protection from domestic violence, read on.
Get Out and Seek Shelter
If you are ever in an emergency situation where you fear for your wellbeing or the wellbeing of anyone else in your household, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, if you can, the first thing that you should do is get out of the house. Bellevue, King County and the rest of the state of Washington have multiple safe houses where victims of domestic violence can seek shelter. In Bellevue, LifeWire provides both housing and other domestic violence services.
Petition for Order for Protection
In Washington, there are four different types of protection orders that a person can file. If you are a victim of domestic violence, file the Domestic Violence Protection Order. You can file a petition for order for protection against a family member or household member, regardless of whether or not you are married, are a minor or want to file against a minor, or are a biological relative of the abuser.
Information You Must Include in a Petition for Order for Protection
If you are filing a petition for order for protection, there is certain information that the court must know. You must provide your age, residency, relationship to the respondent (abuser), any minors involved and how you would like the court to respond to your petition. You can ask the court to restrain the respondent from causing physical harm or harassing you, to exclude the respondent from your home, to ask the respondent to vacate the home you share together, to prohibit the respondent from knowingly coming within a specified distance of you or your home, and more.
You also will have to include a statement that explains why you need court-ordered protection. You will have to detail the harm the respondent caused you and complete a Law Enforcement Information Sheet, which law enforcement will use to identify the respondent but which law enforcement will not serve to the respondent.
After the court receives the petition, the court will order a hearing within 14 days. During the hearing, your legal advocate will explain the nature of the domestic violence and work to seek protection. During your hearing, you may be in the courtroom of Judge Richard Eadie, Judge Ronald Kessler or one of the other judges who preside over the Unified Family Court in King County.
Other Resources for Domestic Violence Victims
Filing a petition against an abuser can be scary. To help you get through the process unharmed, there are many resources that you may consider utilizing. In addition to housing options mentioned above, hotel vouchers for emergency hotel stays – up to one week, generally – are available. Transitional housing is also available for those who need a place to stay for up to two years. You can call the Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-562-6025.
A Domestic Violence Attorney in Bellevue, Washington Can Help
You don’t have to be alone during the process of protecting yourself from domestic violence in Bellevue. At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, our attorneys can help you exercise your rights. We also can help with other family law matters, like divorce, child custody and more.
If you need help protecting yourself from domestic violence, first call for emergency help if needed, separate yourself from the dangerous environment and get to a safe place, and call us at 425-460-0550. You can also contact us online.